The 2016-17 Winter Season with CBMR Athlete Rob Vandervoort
*After an unbelievable winter season, let's catch up with Crested Butte Mountain Resort Athlete, Rob Vandervoort, as he reveals some of the ups and downs of his 2016-17 season.
I always have a funny feeling when I leave Crested Butte in a snowstorm.
This was exactly the case on January 6, 2017, as I struggled to depart for the Freeride World Qualifier 4* competition at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Crested Butte was in the middle of snowmageddon¸ and I quickly learned that Crested Butte was being overwhelmed by feet upon feet of snow; the kind of storm that British Columbia usually experiences. I, on the contrary, was enjoying clear blue skies; a rarity in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
After nursing a tweaked knee suffered just two weeks prior to the competition, and not being as familiar with the terrain as many of the other athletes, I knew that my week's performance was not enough to win the competition. In the end, my two runs placed me in third overall, which was very satisfying!
Luckily, the next competition was back on my home turf at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The incredible snowfalls through December and January ensured that this would be a very high quality competition filled with inspiring performances. Despite the excellent conditions, I was unable to hold onto my final air and finished in eighth place after qualifying for finals in second.
A few weeks later I traveled south to Taos, New Mexico, for the third FWQ 4* event of the season. Fortunately, they had just received almost two feet of snow! Overall, the competition went very smoothly. I had qualified for finals in third place, but due to a mediocre finals run, I fell to fourth.
Immediately following the competition in Taos, I was headed back to Canada for the next event at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, British Columbia. Like Crested Butte and Taos, Kicking Horse had been in a favorable powder cycle as well; the venues were loaded with fresh powder. Unfortunately, I found a snow snake in the middle of my competition run that inexplicably flipped me off of my feet, leaving me out of the finals for the first time in quite a while.
The final stop of the Freeride World Qualifiers was at Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington. Being the last competition, it was the deciding stop for determining which athletes would qualify for the Freeride World Tour (FWT) the following season. I personally came into the competition with a glimmer of World Tour hope still glistening. If I were to win, I would have jumped from fourth to first place overall, and qualified for the FWT. However, I failed to qualify for finals, thus ending my 2018 FWT bid. Luckily, my consolation was fresh powder for the rest of the weekend.
Although I was unable to accomplish the goals that I had set for myself this season (win a competition and qualify for the FWT), I had abundant powder, reconnected with old and new friends, and went on an unforgettable adventure.
I now look forward to my favorite part of any long trip; rolling over the hill on Highway 135, back home into Crested Butte.